City of Tustin Grants CSUF SBDC the Outstanding Economic Development Partner Award

On June 15, California State University, Fullerton’s Small Business Development Center (CSUF SBDC) was awarded Tustin’s 2023 Outstanding Economic Development Partner at the city’s annual Business Recognition Luncheon. Manal Richa, CSUF SBDC center director, accepted the award on behalf of the center and thanked Tustin’s Business Economic Development team for the chance to collaborate to strengthen the small business community. 

This award highlights a high-quality collaborative partnership between the CSUF SBDC and the city of Tustin. It demonstrates practical work toward reaching the shared goal of supporting Tustin’s small businesses. The OCIE SBDC network has played a pivotal role in facilitating the success of the partnership between the CSUF SBDC and Tustin. 

OCIE SBDC Regional Director Mike Daniel expressed his gratitude for the immense dedication of the center: “I appreciate all of the great work our CSUF SBDC is doing for local small businesses in Tustin, and I am thankful for the great partnership we have with the city.”

Through the network’s all-encompassing support and resources, they have empowered small businesses within Tustin to achieve their goals and thrive. 

The CSUF SBDC received a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly, congratulating the center for being an outstanding economic development partner and Tustin’s go-to resource for small businesses. In addition, they received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from the United States House of Representatives, recognizing the center’s commitment and dedication to serving the city of Tustin. 

The CSUF SBDC brings added value to your local community

It was a remarkable achievement for the CSUF SBDC to receive the Outstanding Economic Development Partner Award. The title signifies the center’s tremendous dedication to positively impacting Tustin’s small business community and to helping foster a thriving local economy. 

Richa touched on how this award adds value to her center: “This prestigious award serves as a testament to the immense value the CSUF SBDC team delivers to the small business community. Our partnership with the city of Tustin has reinforced the significance of collaborative efforts among various entities within our community, collectively leaving a lasting and positive impact on small businesses.” 

Richa’s acknowledgment reinforces the CSUF SBDC’s dedication to supporting and empowering local businesses and creating a more prosperous community. She and her team focus on delivering unwavering assistance to help shape an environment where businesses can thrive.

Partnerships formed between SBDCs and the cities they serve can significantly benefit the local community in terms of economic growth and development. The collaboration between CSUF SBDC and Tustin has provided an invaluable platform for assisting Tustin’s small businesses. 

Among the exceptional services that CSUF SBDC offers are no-cost personalized assistance, access to grant funding, comprehensive cohort training through programs such as Tustin Level up, Tustin Main Street Digital Training and Grant programs, and Tustin Small Business Clinic. 

Businesses that have utilized the CSUF SBDC services have enjoyed numerous advantages, including “remarkable strides in their growth strategies, substantial increases in sales, expansion of their workforce, and made strategic investments to propel their businesses to new heights,” says Richa. 

These notable benefits exemplify just some of the transformative outcomes businesses have experienced while engaging with our center. If you operate a small business in Orange County or are interested in doing so, we encourage you to take advantage of the resources and support from the CSUF SBDC. Accessing expert guidance can help propel businesses toward new levels of success and growth.

A promising future 

When asked what might lie ahead regarding the CSUF SBDC and Tustin’s relationship, Manal affirmed this marks the beginning of an exciting journey together. 

“With a strengthened partnership between the City and CSUF SBDC, our collective focus is on closely understanding the evolving needs of business owners. This enables us to tailor the no-cost assistance the SBDC team provides to directly address those needs, facilitating continuous growth and expansion.”

The city of Tustin and the CSUF SBDC have a shared focus on understanding the needs of business owners and leveraging strategies for success and growth. By speaking with local businesses and analyzing their needs, support providers such as our center and Tustin can offer personalized guidance and resources specifically designed to address these needs. A shared focus on understanding and tackling these challenges can increase the effectiveness of the support provided, leading to better outcomes for local businesses. 

The CSUF SBDC and Tustin are committed to continuing their collaborative relationship to ensure that businesses receive customized support and flourish in the face of challenges.

Looking to Start or Grow Your Business?

At the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC, we are here to assist you with every aspect of your business to help it grow and become successful. Connect with us to receive no-cost training, workshops, and one-on-one consulting to help your business flourish. Call us at 1-800-616-7232 or schedule a quick, 15-minute intake appointment at to see how we can help you start, grow, and succeed. 

Looking to start or grow your business?

We at the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC, are here to help you with every aspect of your business to help it grow and become successful.
Give us a call at 1-800-616-7232 or schedule a quick, 15-minute intake appointment at to see how we can help you start, grow, and succeed.